BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
13th of July 2014

Robert Greene Interview

Introduction:

Robert Greene is the #1 best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, The 50th Law (with 50 Cent) and Mastery.

In this episode Robert and Tucker discuss the subconscious signals that your attitude sends to women, the most common complaints that women have about men, the difference between deception and manipulation, and what you can learn about seduction from Bill Clinton.

Podcast:


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SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Bookhacker. They do the reading, so you don’t have to. Check them out on Amazon or Bookhacker.net.

If you want to sponsor the Mating Grounds Podcast, email [email protected].

 

Key takeaways:

  • You have to be natural and work with what you have – you can’t try and be somebody you’re not.
  • If you don’t know where to start, then begin by doing something, anything, and work out what you like, and what you’re good at, and where the intersection of those things is.
  • Negative self-talk is generally a person internalizing something external.
  • Don’t go out purely trying to seduce women. Go out to have fun.
  • Spend the first five minutes of conversation with a woman working out what’s interesting about her.
  • Get out of your own head. When you’re talking to a woman, try and be 100% focused on what she’s saying, her body language, how she feels, etc.
  • Not every encounter will end in sex. You should be practising talking to and connecting with women that you don’t want to seduce.
  • Confidence comes through demonstrated performance, and knowing that you’re good at something.

Links from this episode

Robert Greene’s bio:

Major works:

Mastery

  • An overview/playbook for how to become great in a particular niche
  • General outline: figure out what you want to do, “apprentice” in that discipline (apprentice meaning a number of different things), find and learn from great mentors, develop social intelligence and see people as they are, and tap into your creative side, before achieving mastery status.

The 48 Laws of Power

  • All 48 laws outlined here.
  • Book has sold over 1.2m copies in the US
  • Huge in the hip-hop community – led to collaboration with 50 Cent
  • Dov Charney described the book as the “bible for atheists”

The Art of Seduction

  • Important text in the seduction community
  • Outlines the nine types of seducer – siren, rake, ideal lover, dandy, natural, coquette, charmer, charismatic, star, and also the anti-seducer
  • Good overview of the steps in the seductive process here

Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
So, Robert, I’ve known you for a long time, and read all your stuff and love it. And you wrote one of the iconic books in the seduction community, The Art of Seduction. So, your book takes a very specific bend. I’m a big reader and so are you, but I know I’ve recommended your books to people, and they’ll look at me and be like, “I don’t know. That’s a lot of words, you know?” And I kind of laugh at them, like, well, if you want to get smart, you have to learn. And they ask me to summarize it. Sometimes, I kind of have problems. Like, man, how do you summarize Robert Greene? It’s just packed full of wisdom and knowledge. But let me start by asking you to summarize yourself in this way. So, imagine I’m, like, a twenty-one year old. I’m not a fat, obese retard, but I’m also not naturally really good with women. I’m kind of an average dude, right? If I were to come to you and I said, “Robert. Be my mentor. Help me understand what should I do to get better with women.” What are some of the first things you would tell me as a young guy?

Robert:
Well, the first thing is – and it’s sort of the main principle of The Art of Seduction – is you have to be somewhat natural. You have to work with what you have. You can’t try to be somebody else. It would be great if you could read a book and learn all of these things and just go deep into yourself and train like an athlete and emerge as a seducer, but it doesn’t work like that. Because the moment a woman – it works both ways, but let’s just say you’re a man here – the moment the woman suspects that you’re playing a role, that there’s something fake about you, it cuts the current off. There’s no sort of seduction electricity going back and forth. They start wondering about you: are you real? What’s going on here? The main thing that I’m trying to say in the first half of the book is you have something about you that’s naturally seductive. There is a quality about you that’s who you are, that’s authentic, but you’re not aware of it. You’ve been listening so much to other people, you’re so self-conscious, you’ve been reading too many books, hearing this, that, and the other, that you’ve lost touch with what’s naturally seductive, charming, authentic about yourself. So, I’m almost, in a way, telling you, don’t read my book, almost, and get in touch with that part of you that has this sort of animal power to it. That’s why I have these nine types of seducers that I want you to discover which one you identify with, which one seems more you, and to kind of mind that. The thing in seduction or dealing with women is, people tend to paint it in these black-and-white terms, like, “If I’m not thinking about what to do next, I’ll make terrible mistakes,” or, “If I’m thinking too much, I’m too self-conscious.” You can be both things at the same time. It’s not like that. You can be both aware of what’s going on, the vibes you’re receiving from the other person, how to charm them, what maybe your next move is, and also be in your body and be who you are and be natural at the same time. That’s sort of what I’m trying to train you in this book. But I want to take that twenty-one year old and disabuse him of the idea that you have to become somebody that you aren’t. If you start with that premise, you’ll be bad at the power game, you’ll be bad at the seduction game, you’ll be a bad strategist, et cetera.

Tucker:
No, I absolutely agree. Could not agree more. A lot of young guys, especially, have this idea in their head that – I see it all the time with reference to me, and I’m sure you see the same thing – is someone will come to you and be like, “Oh man, how do I get to be more like you?” And I’m like, “Well, you’re nothing like me. Why would you try and be like me? It doesn’t make sense.” I’m sure you have strategists, or young guys, or CEOs, even, like, “Hey, how can I think more like you?” You’re like, “Well, you’re not me.” I have the same sort of issue. Here’s what I hear back from a lot of these guys. Even if they say, “Okay, I agree. I’ll be myself.” And then they’ll say one of two things. I’ll give you both questions in a row and we can answer them. I think I know what your answers are gonna be, but I wanna hear them, specifically. The first thing they’ll say is, “Well, I don’t know who I am. How do I even figure out who I am? I don’t know what my skills are, either as a strategist or a seducer or anything, so how do I figure that out?”

Robert:
Everybody wants a quick answer, so there’s no quick answer. You’re not gonna suddenly wake up tomorrow and realize that, but I make it very simple. At least, in my book, so you kind of know pretty much right away which of these types of people you identify with. Take, for instance, The Rake, which is kind of a classic seducer-type. I would estimate two or three percent of men out there would be Rakes. Maybe a little bit higher, not much more. It’s a somewhat rare type. It’s a type of man who is extremely obsessed with women and is very interested in them and has a certain way with words and, in the moment, they can give 100% attention to a woman, but they’re never satisfied by one. You’ll know right away that that’s not you. There’s no—

Tucker:
That sounds like Bill Clinton.

Robert:
It is Bill Clinton. Or Mick Jagger or…there are plenty of examples, always, around us. It’s not rocket science. You know that. There’s another type, The Natural, that likes to improvise, generally sort of like a comic-type that only feels good when they’re just being who they are, they like to be spontaneous, et cetera. You know you’re not good at that. If you feel like, “No, I can’t be that,” then you already are not The Natural, you know? So, I lay it out for you. What are the qualities that are seductive? And you’re gonna feel, in a kind of primitive primal way, that this is the type that I associate with, and the idea that I’m giving you is, you just need to become aware of what’s naturally good about you, naturally seductive, and become more aware and conscious about it, so you can use it and stop listening to other people and be more in the moment. If none of that works for you, if you don’t have time to read The Art of Seduction or you don’t identify with any of the nine types, you have to go through a process of introspection, you have to watch. You go have an encounter at a bar or you’re with women or in a situation or at a party. The next day, you analyze what wasn’t working. You look back in the past, at moments where somehow things clicked for you and women were attracted to you for some reason. You gotta put some analysis, some time, write things down in a journal. I remember one time, when I was younger, I had just had some success with this woman that I had been trying to seduce for a long time, and I was on the subway in New York, and suddenly I noticed that all these other women in the car were like – not all of them, but some of them – were looking at me. I had this idea that the success with this one person was kind of giving me this aura that was attracting other people, and I went and I wrote that down and I thought about it very deeply and it ended up becoming something that was very important in The Art of Seduction about appearing desirable. You have to analyze yourself and analyze what has worked, what doesn’t work, that kind of thing. But I think, generally, if you can’t even identify with any of the types, if you’re so self-unaware – I don’t know where to begin with. It might be difficult.

Tucker:
No, I think you answered your question. If you feel like you’re totally self-unaware and you don’t know where to begin, begin by doing things. Anything. And figure out, what are you good at? What do you like? And where’s the intersection on those things? And you can start to figure out what your identity is, if you’re totally lost. If you’re not totally lost, then I think you also identified, the right way to do that is figure out what are the different types of identities you can have, which one fits how you know yourself, and maybe even which one is more like something you want to embody and learn how to be. The next question a guy will give me is – even if they feel like they know who they are, they’ll say something like…and you would be shocked. Actually, you might not be shocked, but a lot of people would be shocked how many guys will say something like, “Yeah, I feel like I know what I am, but really it’s just a piece of shit. I really just don’t have anything to offer. No girls like me. All I do is play video games all day or whatever.” They almost have this defeatist attitude about who and what they are. There’s this idea that all guys are all arrogant and this and that, but that’s actually, I think, a small minority of guys.

Robert:
I agree.

Tucker:
Right, so what would you say to that guy?

Robert:
Well, it’s actually very simple and it’s very interesting. The question contains the seed of the answer. We think so much in terms of words and language as if that’s what matters in an encounter with a person, but actually, we’re animals, and when we’re dealing with people in any situation, we’re smelling things off of them in ways that are unconscious. We’re picking up signals from them. We’re not necessarily completely aware of the process that’s going on. You meet a person and you can tell right away, without even thinking about it, that they’re someone you don’t want to get involved with, that they’re an asshole, that you’re attracted to this person. So, what that means is we can pick up the attitude of another person, how they feel about themselves. We can tell in an animal kind of way that that person has very low self-esteem, and they’re very self-conscious, and for women – and probably there’s some biological reason for this – that’s a very anti-seductive trait whereas the sense that a man is very confident and feels good about himself is a very seductive trait, as long as it doesn’t go into, like, an arrogance. A certain kind of shyness can also be seductive, but the idea that you hate yourself, that you have no self-esteem is very repulsive. So, what that means is, you can literally alter your attitude towards yourself. You have the power to think differently about who you are. You have the ability to turn off that voice inside of you if you understand that that critical voice in you is telling you, “God, I’m ugly. I’m really bad at conversation. I’m not as good as Brad Pitt.”

That’s not you. That’s coming from the culture. That’s coming from the outside of you. You’ve internalized the voice of your parents, your teachers, your friends. And you should be a little bit angry about that. You should be a little bit upset. I don’t mean to make you feel worse about it, but there’s something great about you if you can just chip away all that shit that you’re hearing from other people and get inside yourself. You know, if you put yourself out there – this is something that comes more from the pick-up artist community, but I talk about it in The Art of Seduction – if you put yourself out there and you overcome your natural hesitancy and your shyness and the fact that you think that women don’t like you and you go to bars and you to parties and you interact, you’ll start seeing, in action, the things that you’re not good at, the things that naturally don’t fit with you, but the things that also work. You’ll begin to get a sense of it. But if you stay in your room playing video games, getting down on yourself, chatting on forums and never doing anything, then it’s kind of hopeless.

Tucker:
Yeah. I totally agree. I wanna pick up on something that you kind of hinted at, but I think is pretty important. I totally agree that for the most part, someone’s negative self-talk generally is external. It’s something they’ve internalized that was external. One thing that I do often when I hear guys say that is I’ll ask them, “What are you actually good at?” If they say nothing, then it’s, “Well, what do you want to be good at? And maybe go practice and get good at those things.” You kind of hinted at that, but part of going out is not just finding what’s good in you. It’s also making more good things in yourself. You know what I’m saying?

Robert:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Like, I know in my case, I’ve grown and developed and made way more positive aspects about me than when we first met, right? And even when we first met, there was plenty of positive stuff about me, but then I’m like, “Okay. I can still be better.” So, I grew and developed and changed, et cetera. I think a lot of guys miss this. They think who they are right now is all they can be or all they’re ever gonna be, and that doesn’t really make any sense. People are always growing and changing. You know?

Robert:
Yeah, I mean, obviously, the books that I write, which I kind of classified as self-help, I believe that there’s constantly room for improvement, and the first step is being aware of your limitations – of what’s not working for you, what does work for you – and then working on you. That’s what my books are full of. But when it comes to something like seduction and dealing with women, it’s really unbelievably simple. I don’t mean to say that you don’t have to write a book about it, because I wrote a 400-page book on the subject. You’re writing a book sort of on that. But it’s really incredibly simple in the sense of, the more practice you engage in, the more encounters that you have, the more times that you put yourself out there, the more times you try something, even if you fail, even if you can’t strike up a conversation with that beautiful woman or you don’t get her phone number, you’re increasing your skills. You’re becoming more comfortable with yourself. Sometimes, you fail, “I don’t care, because that taught me what didn’t work here.” You understand a very basic seduction concept, which is you can’t seduce everybody. There are limits. There are certain women that are attracted to you, certain that aren’t. You discover the kind of type that you just can’t possibly seduce. You learn, “I made a mistake there. I’m gonna change that the next time.” But you can never go through that process unless you put yourself out there and you’re engaging in it. So, it’s actually a really simple, positive message that the more you get out of your video game, internet obsession and you’re out there actually mingling with people in the flesh, you’re going to get better and better at it. It’s absolutely impossible unless you’re born with a disability, it’s absolutely impossible that you will not improve with your social skills.

Tucker:
Right. So, I think your point is, not only will you find what’s good about you if you start interacting with people and doing things, but you’ll also make more things. You can find them and develop them. I totally agree, and it’s a lesson I think a lot of guys need to hear. I want to shift gears a little bit, because I hear this critique of you a lot, and your work, and it kind of pisses me off, because it’s negative and I think it doesn’t apply, but I think a lot of, especially young guys, have this idea that seduction or game – just any interaction with women that’s romantic – is, by its nature, manipulative. I hear people describe you like that all the time, and it’s frustrating to me. But can you talk about this a little bit for me? Because I don’t think seduction, romance, sexual interactions…they obviously can be manipulative. I don’t think they have to be. Why don’t you talk about that for a second?

Robert:
It’s really that people argue over semantics. So, when I write a book about power, people will immediately label, “Oh, power is this ugly thing that only white men who oppress other people are involved in. It’s the government, it’s the United Nations.” I’m talking about power in an individual way where you want a feeling of control over the people around you. That can be your children, your spouse, your boss, your colleagues. There is not a single human being on the planet that doesn’t want that kind of power. So, let’s change the conversation here. The same thing with the word manipulation. We tend to label it with all these sort of negative, heavy connotations of satanic figures or figuring out how they can harm people. I’m trying to tell you that the human animal is constantly manipulating. We are always manipulating. We never, in the course of a single day, say exactly what’s on our mind with people. We don’t do that. And if we did, we would have no friends and nobody would ever talk to us. So, we control what we say, well that’s a manipulation. When you’re dating a woman, you don’t sit there and just wear a t-shirt and order pizza and beer and have her come over and watch a football game. You dress nicely, which you normally don’t maybe do. You clean up your apartment. You make yourself look pretty good. You take her to a nice place that you normally would never go to. And you act differently. You don’t sit there and just say the things that you would with guys. You’re not being exactly, 100% honest about what’s going on here, and the woman knows that. Seduction and mating or whatever you wanna call it, is a ritual that people understand there is an element of drama, of theater, of being somebody not exactly who you are. There’s always a level of manipulation going on. So, I want people to be honest with themselves.

A lot of times, I find what women complain about with a man is that they’re not trying hard enough. They just assume that certain things that they do naturally will please her, et cetera. What they respond to is the fact that the man is trying harder, that he is actually dressing nicely, he is actually making an effort to take her to a place. He is thinking of her psychology. He is saying to himself, “Ah, she will like this kind of gift.” Think of gift giving. Gift giving is one of the most seductive things you can do. It’s packed full of power for influencing and persuading and getting someone to like you. The fact that if you just give somebody an expensive ring in which you have no thought into it, that’s not as effective as if you’d spend some time and say, “She really likes these kinds of flowers,” or “She really likes this kind of book,” or whatever it is. And you’ve put that thought into it, and then you buy it for her. You could see that as a form of manipulation. You’re going into her psychology. You’re imagining what she likes, what the world is like from her point of view, and you’re buying something that is designed to please her. Manipulation, I’m sorry, that’s what it is. So get over this idea that somehow in the area of love or politics or seduction or power, you’re not manipulating, you are. I’m just gonna make you better at it. That’s all.

Tucker:
I think the distinction – tell me if you agree with this – I think the distinction is that deception is the thing that’s bad and negative and you should avoid – whereas manipulation, you use that in a broader sense to mean changing things to be better at them. Like, you want to be better at persuading a girl to like you, or you want to be more attractive to a girl, so you change what you wear in a certain situation, which is a very normal, natural – in fact, women want that. If you put on leather shoes instead of sneakers for a date, they’re gonna be more attracted to you because that means you thought of them, whereas deception is something like, “I am going to say things to a girl, portray myself in a way that is totally unlike anything that I actually am to get something that I want and then withdraw that.” Would you agree with that distinction?

Robert:
Maybe. It gets kind of a thin line there. So, for instance, the second half of The Art of Seduction is filled with sort of strategies that are common seductive strategies. One of them is where you appear to be desirable. It’s kind of the idea that, if you pass by a restaurant and there’s only one person having dinner there on a Friday night, you don’t want to go in. Why are there no more people? You pass by that restaurant and there’s forty people and they’re all laughing and they look great, you’re more tempted to go inside that restaurant. Well, it’s the same thing in the realm of interpersonal relations. If you see a woman that’s surrounded by men that you know she’s popular, you automatically find her more desirable. There’s a competitive element to that that probably goes back hundreds of thousands of years. So, I’m making you aware of that and how you should try and find a way to use that psychology to make yourself appear more desirable. My girlfriend knows this story. I used that on her in a way where I invited her early on to a party where I knew that all of my female friends would be there and they happened to be very beautiful, and she saw me surrounded by five or six very beautiful women who were my friends. Now, is that deception? Is that manipulation? Okay, well, you’re using that psychology, that understanding that people find something that’s desired by others to be desirable, to help gain yourself entry into that other person who might resist being interested in you. If you don’t find that deceptive, I don’t know. I guess, it’s manipulative in the way—

Tucker:
How is that – that’s not deceptive. I mean, those actually are your friends, right? If you’d rented a bunch of hookers and told them to pretend to be your friends, that would be deceptive.

Robert:
Alright. Alright, Tucker. I buy that.

Tucker:
In my mind, there’s a clear distinction between deception and the way that people use manipulation, that word, to mean it’s negative. I don’t think it is. You know what I’m saying?

Robert:
Okay. Yeah.

Tucker:
So, here’s a sort of conversational line that I found works really well on these podcasts, and a lot of young guys I’ve seen who are listeners and readers take value from. So, you’ve known me forever, Robert, and there’s a lot of…I meet a lot of young guys who are, let’s say eighteen or twenty-one or twenty-five, and they compare their twenty-five year-old self to me now. I’m thirty-eight. I’m successful. I’ve done all these sort of things. I wanted to ask you about what you were like as a younger guy. Because everyone now looks at you – and people look at me the same way – as sort of who we are now. Like, “Oh, you’re this amazing genius, brilliant intellectual, and you’ve sold millions of books and the most powerful, famous people on earth come to you for advice.” And guys think, “Man, I have nothing in common with that guy. I’m just some loser in some Podunk town,” right? But the reality is, at some point in your life, you probably felt like those guys do now. I know I kind of did.

Robert:
Oh, completely.

Tucker:
Right, so let’s talk about some specific examples you can think about when you were younger. Either embarrassing things that happened to you or things that sucked but you learned a lot from. Very specific things where a guy can be like, “Man, I went through that.” You know? Maybe a girlfriend that dumped you or something embarrassing that happened. What are things that you can think about that were really specific events that were maybe painful but you learned a lesson from or something like that. You know?

Robert:
If we had, like, three hours?

Tucker:
Pick your favorite one or two, how about?

Robert:
Well. You know, I had a lot of stupid things that I’ve done, and I didn’t really have success in my life until I was basically your age now, thirty-eight, thirty-nine years old. You know, with women, in college years, I wasn’t a great seducer. I was quite the opposite. I was sort of in my head a lot, and I went to live in Paris when I was about twenty-one, and I went to work in this hotel where all these models stayed. It was just…made any man at that age go insane, with all these beautiful women, you’re twenty-one. There was a man there that was this incredible seducer who I would see, would come to the hotel and I would say, “Goddamn, why can’t I be like that guy?” He was Brazilian, he happened to be handsome, but he was so good with women, and I just felt so miniscule compared to him. What ended up happening when I lived there was, in order to get the job that I had working at a hotel, I had to pretend that I wasn’t American. That I was Irish. It’s the story that I’ve told other people, so basically for a year, I pretended to be an Irishman.

Tucker:
So, you just got drunk and cursed at people and were bad on the job, or what?

Robert:
Well, wait a minute. Don’t have those stereotypes.

Tucker:
I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

Robert:
No, I’m pretty good with accents and there was a pub across the street from the hotel, and I would go there and I would sort of watch them and I would absorb the accent. I ended up having a lot more success with women, not because of the Irish accent, but because I was having fun and I was excited. And it ended up, I realized afterwards, that when I told some of the women what was going on later, when I confessed the truth, they were so angry at me. That’s the closest I probably ever came to being killed.

Tucker:
Yeah, that’s deception right there.

Robert:
Yeah. Right. Pretty much, though. I realized that pattern that I had when I was younger when I kind of was doing that sort of thing was actually very, very dangerous. What really happened in Paris that allowed me to get out of my shell and to start having some success was just the fact that I was happy, I was in a beautiful place, there were great people, I was open, the world was exciting. That’s what was making me have more success and become a better seducer. Not this fake accent and this persona that I created. So, it was sort of a lesson there about what you’re talking about and what we talked about earlier, about being yourself and about your mood – who you are, how you feel about yourself, people feel it. Women are very intuitive, more than we men are. They sense and smell these things. They can sense or smell when someone’s being really fake or phony. They can sense when someone is excited and happy and is open to things of the world and they’re drawn to that. That’s what was changing my life at that point. That was kind of a key epiphany, if you want, as far as my relationship with women—

Tucker:
No, listen. I totally get it. I tell guys this all the time. Guys who feel like when they go out, they don’t know what to say, they don’t know what to do, whatever. I tell them, “Don’t go out trying to seduce women. Go out just to have fun.” I said, “Every woman you talk to, your goal should be for the first five minutes of the conversation, is figure out what’s interesting about her. Because even the most boring, awful people, there’s something about them that’s interesting. So, your goal should be to figure out what that is. If the conversation takes off, keep going. If it doesn’t, no problem. Talk to the next girl. No big deal.” Right? But I want to get back to something you said at the very beginning that was really, I think…you kind of skipped over it, but it was a big thing that I know a lot of guys will focus on. You said, “I was really bad as a seducer because I was always in my own head.”

Robert:
Yeah.

Tucker:
What do you mean, exactly? I know what you mean, but explain that.

Robert:
Well, I had these ideas about myself and about the world and read a lot of books and literature, so I had imagined a world that wasn’t really the reality. When I would encounter people, I was not thinking about them. I wasn’t really paying great attention to what was going on in their head. And I learned from that past experience and actually literally from this guy that I mentioned earlier, this Brazilian guy, Eduardo, ‘cause he literally taught me things. It’s the fact that the greatest power that you can have is to be in the moment and to be alive to what that person is saying, what makes them different, their body language, the look in their eyes – this is the subject of my next book. I’m writing another 400 pages on it. But it’s the sense that people are sending you signals, particularly women, about whether they like you, they don’t like you, what excites them, what interests them. Everything that they’re doing. The tone of their voice. And in what they’re saying. And you’re just not picking them up because you’re thinking about, “Oh, did I say the right thing?” or, “She doesn’t really like me,” or, “I read this book,” and that’s what was going on with me. I was not paying attention and the process of becoming better at dealing with women and being a better seducer was getting out of that shell. I literally would practice things. I would literally, after what he told me on a couple of occasions and years later, I would try and be in an encounter with a new woman and not hear anything inside my head. Can I listen and pay 100% attention to her? I would literally play this game and I would notice, in the middle of a conversation, as I was trying to look at her – and I’m not scaring her, because if you’re sitting there staring at someone, paying intense attention, you look like a creep. So, being natural, but really trying to focus on her, I would bend back into my head thinking, and “Oh, no, get back out there. Think about her.” And what that would do is it would make it kind of a fun game because she would say something or I would pick up something that normally I would never pay attention to and now I could create a conversation like a tennis game where you’re now able to volley back and forth and it’s able to go on for forty shots. Because I’m listening to what she said, I can now hone in on something and ask her an interesting question and make an interesting joke and it just kind of takes off, if you cut off that internal dialogue. And I would literally try and force myself to do that at times.

Tucker:
This is amazing, amazing advice. You’re so right. I tell this to people all – I didn’t learn this, I think, until I got be maybe late twenties, at best. And I still wasn’t really that good at listening to others or hearing other people, but I would at least acknowledge that they existed. You wouldn’t even believe – I’m sure you would, but most people wouldn’t believe how many guys, the idea that the woman is a separate person with her own thoughts and ideas and emotions that are just as valid as yours and you’re interacting with in that way and she’s not some object that you’re trying to figure out the code to or get something from is, like…most guys, they’re not sociopaths, but they’d never actually thought of that. You know?

Robert:
I mean, look at it this way. Everybody wants to seduce a beautiful woman, like a model. I happened to be, when I was younger, obsessed with models. And you think, “Oh, my god, I could never go near them. Not in a hundred years, that woman would never talk to me.” You’d be shocked at the fact that beautiful women are completely stereotyped. No one ever gets them individualized attention. No one is ever really interested in their thoughts, their childhood…and it actually can be a real drag to be a beautiful woman – [phone rings] I’m sorry about that.

Tucker:
No problem.

Robert:
It’ll go away in a second. It can be a real drag – hopefully nobody’s leaving a message.

Tucker:
That’d be awesome. Especially, like, your landlord or something. “Your rent’s due!”

Robert:
Nah, it’s telemarketing. You know, it’s a real drag, actually, to be a beautiful woman because you can’t escape that attention. Not that I’ve ever been one, but everybody’s always looking at you and it makes someone turn inside and it can be really frustrating. So they’re actually like fish in a barrel that you can shoot at, they’re so easy to seduce if you give them individualized attention. Not in a patronizing way, where you’re like a father talking to a child, oh, I understand how hard it is. But literally, you’re interested in what their life is like and their interests. What it felt like growing up. I don’t care what it is, it doesn’t even have to be so banal as that. But the sense that you’re giving somebody that kind of attention where you’re thinking of them as a separate being is incredibly seductive. You’re not gonna be able to go out and do that tomorrow because it’s actually a skill.

Tucker:
A skill, it is.

Robert:
Like, anything in life is a skill. But you can develop that skill.

Tucker:
Absolutely. We’re gonna be talking on the podcast with some other conversation experts, like some ex-FBI guys and stuff who are really tuned in. You wouldn’t – I’m sure you actually do know – but how subtle and how incredibly sophisticated conversation is and how it relates to body language and all these other sorts of things, and most people have no idea what’s going on, but they’re responding exactly to all this stuff on an unconscious level. It’s super important. They just have no idea, consciously, what’s going on. It’s exactly what you’re talking about. But I’ll tell you a story that’s exactly what you’re talking about. So, I don’t know Bill Clinton at all, but it’s funny you mentioned him earlier, because I have actually slept with two girls who had slept with Bill prior.

Robert:
Wow. That’s a brush with greatness.

Tucker:
Yeah. Right. Well, I don’t know how great it was, but what’s funny is I believe both of them because they both told the exact same story. They described him exactly, like, what he’s like to be around. They used almost the same words, weirdly. They both talked about his penis exactly the same way. They both said he was better in bed than me, to which I was like, “Fuck you girls. Get the fuck out of here,” right? But here’s what they said that this is interesting to this conversation. They said when they were around Bill, one of the most attractive things about him was not his intelligence or his power, although all those things are obviously very attractive. But George Bush is just as powerful, or was at a certain time, as Bill Clinton, and no woman’s ever like, “Boy, George Bush is such a great seducer.” What they said is that Clinton, when you’re talking to him and when you’re with him, you feel like nothing else in the world exists, because he focuses all his attention on you and he listens to you. He really listens. He doesn’t wait for his turn to speak. He listens to you and he emotionally connects with you almost immediately in this really profound way, and the women are like, man. Combined with all the other things – the power, his height, et cetera – they were like, “I had no chance.” They were like, “It was like I would have done anything or given him anything or whatever, and I loved it.” You know?

Robert:
But the thing that the guys will say there is, “Well, god, I’m not Bill Clinton.” You know? But the point is—

Tucker:
You can pay attention for free!

Robert:
Well, yeah, but the point is, Bill Clinton wasn’t like that either. He came from a broken family and he had a lot of trouble when he was younger. Look back at his early years when he was in college and when he met Hillary, et cetera. He wasn’t this brilliant seducer that he later became. It’s an acquired skill, the ability to listen to people like that. When you start cutting off that internal dialogue, and that kind of deadness that ends up happening, that emotional current that happens between people will actually start happening more and more and more and more when you’re not wrapped up in your own thoughts, because we are really heavily emotional creatures. It’s one of the subjects of my new book. And when you open yourself up to people and you are listening to them on that level, you’re gonna be picking up things in their tone of voice and it’s gonna make you emotional, make them emotional, and this current is gonna happen that’s really powerful. So, Bill Clinton wasn’t born that way. He developed this as a politician and as a Rake over the course of ten, twenty, thirty years.

Tucker:
Yeah. No, exactly. Totally. It’s absolutely – it’s weird to say, but listening to people is a skill that you can develop. In my experience, there’s not a whole lot you can do to be more attractive to women than actually, honestly listen to them and connect in a conversation. Which is exactly what you said. Totally, I agree. I want to go back to something you said in the middle of that that I think might be interesting. You said – actually, let me pick up a follow-up on this conversation thing, ‘cause young guys. I’ll say this to guys or something similar and then they’ll go out, like, “Alright, I’m gonna do it.” And they’ll go out and they’ll come back and they’ll say, “Yeah, it’s not working. No girls like me.” Basically, I have to sort of tease it out of them, but what they’re doing is they’re not really listening. They’re just sort of…they’re sitting there, almost obsequiously, like, nodding and everything in agreement and being almost like a nursemaid or a counselor instead of someone who’s listening and interacting. Do you think so? You agree?

Robert:
Yeah, very much so. Or, what they’re doing is they’re just being passive and they’re not talking, and they think that that’s listening. The difference would be, can you go away later that night and when you’re home by yourself, can you write three or four pages about what’s going on in that women’s world? What’s going on in her head? What’s it like from her point of view? How’s she feeling in the moment? How did she maybe respond to you? If somebody else came to the table, did you notice a sort of change in her body language? You’re probably not gonna pick up any of that because you’re just sitting there listening and not talking. But you’re not using your mirror neurons. You’re not putting yourself in her place. You’re not using your imagination in any kind of active way. You’re just sort of sitting there, being a little sponge, a little bump on a log, and that’s really not seductive to a woman, either. If you just sit there and listen, that’s not very good, either. There are great people who are listeners, and it’s probably Bill Clinton, where they just – and you’ll find this with your experts on conversation. People have done studies on this, where you will think that you did 80% of the talking and Bill Clinton only did twenty. But in fact, Bill was doing 50% of the talking. He was engaging with you. It’s an illusion. But the way that he was listening and the fact that he only would comment on things that were really relevant and picked up signals gives you the illusion that you did most of the talking and it’s not true. So, it’s not like you’re not gonna be doing half of the talking. It’s how you’re able to talk and respond to something that she said very particular, pick it up, and do what you’ve been doing in the course of this interview. Literally going back to something somebody said a half hour ago and bringing it back into the conversation as a joke or as another question shows that you were listening to something that happened an hour ago. It’s really powerful. So, you’re not really listening if that’s what’s going on.

Tucker:
To me, I call that connecting. Listening can be part of connecting, but they’re not necessarily the same thing. You listen in order to connect with someone. At the end of the day, even if you just wanna have sex or if you wanna have a marriage, it’s all about connecting to some degree or another, and listening is sort of like the precursor to connecting.

Robert:
Yeah. What was I gonna say? I can’t remember now. I had a thought, but I don’t remember.

Tucker:
It doesn’t matter. I’ve got a bunch of questions.

Robert:
Oh, I know what I was going to say! Just keep this in mind, that – I talk about this in The Art of Seduction – it’s not like every encounter is gonna end up with sex. That’s a real bad mentality. You should be practicing this on women that you will never in a million years ever even want to seduce. You can even practice it on your mom’s friends, for god’s sake. It’s a skill that you’re gonna develop and then it’ll start becoming more natural to you, so don’t get this idea that it can only be with a beautiful woman in a bar. It’s something that you should be practicing in general.

Tucker:
That’s actually fantastic advice. I tell guys all the time, if all you do is go out and look for sex, you’re not gonna get a bunch. But if you go out looking to meet people and make friends, you’re gonna get a lot more sex. That girl you meet who you’re not really that interested in, but you have a great conversation with? She has friends, and friends that are single and you can meet them through her as long as you’re not just a big walking erect penis looking for pussy and nothing else. You know? You said something that I think might be cool. Eduardo, you were talking about learning from him. You said, “He taught me things. A lot of things.” And I think you probably have very specific things in mind. So, what are some other things?

Robert:
Well, I’ll just give you one example that I will just never ever forget. Eduardo was seducing, like, four or five women at the same time. Maybe even more, I don’t know. I couldn’t keep count. And I remember one time, I was walking down the street with him and another woman that was, I think he was starting to seduce, and he was suddenly encountered by this really angry woman who realized that he was cheating on her. She was one of the five girlfriends who didn’t realize there were four others. And she confronted him. This other woman and myself, we stepped back about five feet to give them space ‘cause we expected violence, et cetera. And it was unbelievable how he tamed this woman in, like, two minutes. He was so undefensive. He didn’t get angry. He didn’t say, “Oh, no, you’re wrong! I can’t –this is who I am, blah blah blah.” He just was natural, goes “Yes, yes, I understand, but you know I have this…da da da da da.” It didn’t even matter what he said in the end. I don’t think I could really hear it. His body language was so calm and so secure and so confident and relaxed, that it immediately diffused the situation and this woman realized, “I was maybe thinking of him as sort of an exclusive relationship. Okay, he’s a Rake. He can’t help it, and he’s loveable,” and I know the next day they were back, having sex again. His attitude, his calmness, made the other person calm down immediately.

I noticed that, subsequently, whenever I get in a fight with a person, it’s almost like a jujitsu kind of thing, you can just take a step back. You can show you’re calm. And they just kind of fall over their own energy and it ends up wiping itself away. It was the fact that his attitude about himself, I know I wrote in The Art of Seduction about Errol Flynn, probably the greatest male seducer that’s ever lived. By the time he died, he had slept with five, six thousand women. They would say that being around Errol Flynn was like having already drunk two martinis, because he was so relaxed that he made you relaxed. That’s what this guy Eduardo had. He had this kind of calm, masculine self-assurance, and it was devastating. The lack of being defensive – I find defensiveness and insecurity to be very anti-seductive traits.

Tucker:
Yes. Well, ‘cause they signal deception. They signal malicious intent. And it’s just negative emotion clashing with more negative emotion. You’re exactly right. My guess is, here’s how the scenario probably played out, is that Eduardo hadn’t lied to her, but he hadn’t necessarily told her he was sleeping with other girls. Why do people get angry and afraid? Angry, really specifically, most of the time it’s because their expectations are different than what they thought. And so instead of responding to her anger, he just didn’t even respond to it as if it’s not there, and because it had nowhere to go, so it just dissipated. I know exactly…I wish I could be good at that. That’s hard to do, man. That’s real hard.

Robert:
It’s hard to stay calm in a situation where another person is freaking out or is accusing you of things. But I noticed it’s a skill that I’ve been able to develop, but I’m in my fifties now. I wasn’t able to do that when I was your age or earlier. It’s something, I don’t know, it comes with age.

Tucker:
How do you think that develops? That’s a good question. How do you get that sort of confidence and that self-possession?

Robert:
Well, it’s hard to say because everybody’s different. I must say it helps having written books and having success so it comes to self-fulfilling prophecy, where I feel more confident about myself. But I think, as you get older, you feel like things that matter as far as impressing people, you don’t have to try so hard. I know I was recently in Australia and I was with this really obnoxious guy who…you know, they like to drink a lot in Australia. I love Australia, so don’t get me wrong. And he was like, “Let’s go out and party all night in Sydney.” And I just told him, you know, once you pass the age of fifty, you don’t have to listen to other people. You don’t have to justify yourself. You don’t have to go along with the crowd. So, fuck you, I’m going back to my hotel room. I don’t feel the peer pressure. It’s just like, oh really? That’s what it’s like? Yeah, after you’re fifty, you don’t really care anymore. So, it kind of happens naturally, in a way. I don’t know how much of it is that I’ve been working on myself. I mean, I have been, but it’s sort of a factor of getting older, and I’ve had some success. If I was still in my one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, writing things that never got published and being kind of miserable, I don’t know if I’d be able to pull it off, but I can pull it off now.

Tucker:
Yeah. When I was telling guys, I think in my life, the more demonstrative performance I have, the more confident I am about things. ‘Cause that’s really where I think a lot of confidence comes from, is the fact that you know you can do it because you’ve done it. So, guys who have no confidence, I’m like, “Well, what are you not confident about?” And they’ll say, and I’m like, “Why don’t you go practice? What’s the smallest sort of increment of that? Practice that and then move up and move up and move up.” To combine the last two conversations, I’ll tell guys who are super nervous about talking to women, I’m like, “Go to some place like an old person home.” Some ridiculous place where there are just all these women who want to talk to you. Clearly you’re not gonna seduce some old woman. That’s ridiculous. But if you can get good at talking to any women, you’re gonna be more confident talking to the hottest girl you’re trying to talk to. Like you said, I say the same thing. It’s not complicated. It really isn’t. It might be hard to execute sometimes, but it’s not complicated. Guys make it so much more complicated than it needs to be.

Robert:
Yeah, and you think in the beginning that women are so different and that you don’t understand them and why are they attracted to this guy and not that guy? But actually, the more you interact with them, it kind of gets demystified. They’re not nearly as mysterious and up on a pedestal as you might imagine. They go to the bathroom and they take shits and they have a psychology that’s actually somewhat similar to your own. But just a little bit different ‘cause of the hormones and such. But they get demystified, which isn’t a bad thing, which actually is a good thing. They’re more human.

Tucker:
Yeah. Exactly.

Robert:
Not that they’re not human.

Tucker:
So, let’s end on one last conversation. You said something at the very beginning which I was gonna call you out about, but you were on a roll and I didn’t wanna stop you. You said, “I don’t recommend some young guys to read The Art of Seduction.” You might be the first author I’ve ever heard that’s like, “Ah, don’t read my book,” you know? Who do you think should and should not read your book?

Robert:
Well, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t read the book. But a lot of guys take everything so literally, and they want like a manual and they wanna go step-by-step-by-step, and they say, “Well, Robert, you kind of contradicted yourself. You say you’ve gotta be natural but here you talk about strategies that aren’t natural.” Well, I say you’re doing two things at the same time. Which is something we human beings can do. We can do two things at the same time. So, it’s more like, the spirit that you read the book. If you kind of come to it with a relaxed spirit and you realize it’s not a paint-by-numbers system. It’s actually not like The Game. I know Neil, and The Game is a great book, but this isn’t a pick-up artist type manual. It’s more about the psychology of other people that you’re dealing with. What makes them resistant to you and what lowers that resistance and gives you power over them to persuade and influence them. That’s what the book is about. So, you have to be kind of relaxed and absorb the information and not be looking for a paint-by-number formula for how to seduce people. If you can do that, the book, I think, will be very helpful, and I have thousands of emails from men and women who the book has literally, literally helped them seduce a woman or marry the woman they wanted to, et cetera. But they’re not looking for it that way. It just happens that way.

Tucker:
I could not summarize it better. So, don’t read the book if you’re, like, some Asperger’s weirdo who wants, like, a computer programming guide. But if you have a little experience with life and you’re looking for more information and perspectives, especially about how to relate to other people, then definitely read the book, right?

Robert:
Yes. Thank you, Tucker, that was better put.

Tucker:
I fully concur. I think the more experience you have with life, the better the book will help you. Alright, Robert, I wanted to thank you. That was a fantastic interview. That was really good and when your next book comes out, I definitely wanna talk to you about it.

Robert:
Oh, yeah.

Tucker:
Alright, brother. I thank you for the time again, man. It was a very good conversation.

Robert:
You’re welcome. You’re very welcome. I gotta go eat my chicken now.

Tucker:
Yeah. Right, exactly. Talk to you later, man.

Robert:
Alright, thanks a lot, Tucker, and we’ll talk soon.

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